Martial Arts can help unite Guyana
- Neil Kumar, Director of Sports
By Clyde Pestano
March 19, 2003
Neil Kumar, Director of Sports in Guyana, is of the firm opinion, that martial arts can in some way help to unite the people of Guyana. Kumar was delivering the feature address at the launching of the Guyana Black Hawks Association at the North Ruimveldt Multilateral School last Friday. The director at the inception of his speech, made the observation that all the races were present at the launching of the organization and according to him that was a good sign. He added that not only were Guyanese from all walks of life present but they were also members of the organization. Kumar stated that those who practise the discipline of martial arts, are disciplined themselves. He pointed out that at this time in our country we need discipline in all areas of life and that the work of the Professor is very pertinent at this juncture. The Director mentioned that even though his schedule that day was a busy one, he thought that it was important that he be at the event because he saw `positives' flowing from such an initiative. According to Kumar, these sort of initiatives help to keep persons whether young or old occupied in doing positive things. He alluded to the AIDS situation in Guyana and mentioned that Guyana has an unacceptable level of persons with the disease for such a small nation. Kumar said that he was hopeful that the martial arts may contribute in the all-round development of those who practise it and that this would mean that it will help to influence choices people make in relation to their lives.
The Association was launched in the school's auditorium with an official programme which was chaired by school teacher Kirwyn Mars. He gave a short welcome and a prayer while local musical group "First Born", whose members are a part of the organization, performed a musical rendition for the audience of about 60 persons which included members of the association, school children, parents and members of the public.
Professor Christopher Francis (SOKE) gave a short address and a special welcome from the World Martial Arts Association. According to Francis, he was very impressed with the work done so far by the local association which has close to 35 members ranging in ages from 5-20. He said that there is an equal mixture of males and females who reasonably represent a cross-section of Guyanese. Francis mentioned that he had met with officials from the Ministry of Education, the Director of Sports and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture Youth & Sport, all of whom were in favour of the programme. He added that his team had spoken with the principals of three schools in Georgetown, PAT'S College, Christ Church Secondary and Queen's College, and they too pledged their support and cooperation. It is likely that the programme will be implemented for the new school term. On Thursday and Friday the programme continues at the North Ruimveldt Multilateral when the professor will expound on what the discipline of martial arts is all about. According to Francis, the talent he has already seen in his short stay, is impressive. An exciting demonstration of martial arts concluded the evening as the Professor and some of his charges especially Sensei Earl Griffith, thrilled the audience with superb performances. Sensei Griffith had the viewers in awe as he first literally flew in the air over seven young students in what can only be described as a super-human act. But that was not the end of his thrilling performance as he leapt eight feet in the air, without the use of a spring board and cleared three students who were formed in the shape of a pyramid. The gasp in the audience was audible when he cleared the students and landed. Everyone cheered with relief and wonderment as they realized that they had just witnessed something special and truly amazing. Professor Francis also dazzled the crowd with his hand speed as he too displayed his amazing skills. This is his third time in Guyana but his first in an official capacity. He was loud in praise for all the support he has received so far and would like to thank all his friends and supporters and the media for covering the launching of the Association.